Traditional Chinese Dietary Advice For Cough Relief

Traditional Chinese dietary advice and recipes have proved to be quite helpful in treating cough problems.

Our lungs are vulnerable organs and are affected easily due to the flow of ‘qi’, which leads to cough and other lung problems. Traditional Chinese medicine says that with appropriate consumption of the right food and certain preventive measures, we can not only prevent cough but also, ensure good lung health.

Dietary Advice On Cough: Dos and Don’ts

 According to Chinese tradition, there is a list of foods that you should eat and another list that you should avoid according to the the type of cough you suffer from


1. For cold cough (coughing with thin white phlegm), it is recommended to have warming foods which have a pungent flavor. This will relieve a person from coughing and reduce the secretion of phlegm. For example, onion, ginger, garlic, coriander, radish, pumpkins, apricot, tangerine, cinnamon, pig’s lungs, carp and chub, etc. are good for health. It is recommended that cold and frozen foods or foods that are difficult to digest should be avoided. For example, bananas, melons, peppermint, plums, clam and crab should be avoided.

2. For heat cough (coughing with yellow and thick phlegm), it is recommended to consume those foods that will have a cooling effect and dissolve the phlegm. These include radish, lotus root, beans, curd, wheat, pear, fig, olive, water chestnut, pineapple, coconut, sprouts, peppermint, seaweed, duck meat, etc. Hot and greasy foods are recommended not to be taken, which include ginseng, mutton, pepper, ginger, fennel, nutmeg, cinnamon, litchi, red dates, etc.


3. For dry and chronic cough, foods that can nourish the lungs are helpful. These foods include sugar cane, soybean, milk, honey, olive, lily bulb, sesame, Chinese torreya, pear, tomato, fig, almond, duck meat, carp, and pig’s lung and skin. Those food items that irritate the throat, are spicy and hot, and frozen or greasy foods should be avoided if one is suffering from a persistent cough.

A Few Chinese Recipes To Treat Cough

Chinese tradition has developed certain medicinal recipes to treat different types of cough. Each type of cough can be treated with different foods prepared in certain ways.


Wind-Cold Cough

For wind-cold cough, recipes made from ginger, radish, perilla leaf, and apricot kernel are quite helpful.

1. Take 10 g of shredded ginger and 5 g of crushed perilla leaf. Put them in a cup of hot water and soak the mixture for 10 minutes. Serve this as hot tea.
2. Take 10 g of crushed apricot kernel, 10 g of sliced ginger, and 100 g of fresh radish. Boil them together in 500 ml of water for 15 minutes. Serve hot.
3. Extract 50 ml of fresh radish juice and 10 ml of ginger juice. Add warm water to this mixture and serve hot.


Wind-Heat Cough

Recipes made from perilla leaf, tangerine peel, radish, pear, and lotus root juice are recommended for wind-heat cough.

1. Take 15 g of peppermint, 10 g of perilla leaf, and 10 g of tangerine peel. Boil them together in 500 ml of water for 15 minutes. Add rock sugar to taste, and serve hot.
2. Extract ½ cup fresh lotus root juice and ½ cup pear juice. Mix them and drink it.
3. Extract 30 ml of fresh radish juice. Add it in maltose, stir, and drink.


Dry Cough

Recipes made from apricot, pear, peppermint, etc. are recommended to treat dry cough.

1. Take 10 g of crushed apricot kernel, one pear cut into half and without the core, and rock sugar. Boil them in 500 ml of water for 20 minutes. Eat the pear and drink the solution.
2. Take 10 g of fresh peppermint and 60 g of fresh reed rhizome. Clean and chop them finely. Steep them in boiling water for 10 minutes, and drink the solution when it’s warm.
3. Peel a pear, cut it into half, and remove the core. Take 3 g of an unibract fritillary bulb powder and 6 g of rock sugar. Stuff the bulb powder and rock sugar in the holes of the pear and combine the two halves of the pear. Double steam the recombined pear for an hour and serve it warm.


Phlegm-Heat Cough

Recipes made from arhat fruit, dried persimmon, sponge cucumber, carrot, onion, etc. with rock sugar are helpful for phlegm-heat cough.

1. Take ¼ piece of a dried arhat fruit, 1 piece of dried persimmon, and 10 g of rock sugar. Clean and crush the arhat fruit and persimmon, infuse it in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes, and add the sugar. Drink the solution warm.
2. Take 50 g of fresh lily bulb, 100 g of sponge cucumber, 100 g of carrot, and 50 g of onion. Chop the ingredients, stir fry, and serve hot.
3. Take 250 g of fresh radish, 250 g of fresh lotus root, and two pears. Extract the juice out of all the ingredients, add honey to the mixed juice, and serve.


Phlegm-Dampness Cough

 For phlegm-dampness cough, recipes made from dried tangerine peel, ginger, poria, pomelo peel, etc. are highly recommended.

1. Take 6 g of dried tangerine peel, 9 g of poria, and 10 g of fresh ginger. Crush all the ingredients, infuse them in a cup of hot water, and serve warm.
2. Take 6-9 g of dried pomelo peel, clean it, and infuse it in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Add rock sugar to the mixture and serve warm.
3. Take 4 slices of ginger, 6 pieces of crushed Chinese dates, and boil them together in 800 ml of water for 20 minutes. Drink the solution warm.

Chronic, Persistent Cough

1. Take 500 g of fresh radish, 15 g of maltose, 20 g of crushed dried persimmon, and 6 g of powdered unibract fritillary bulb. Extract the juice of the radish, mix it in the maltose, double steam it for an hour, and add the persimmon and powdered bulb. Stir the mixture evenly and serve warm.
2. Take 4 g of schisandra, 4 g of ginseng, and 3 g of perilla stem. Crush the ingredients, and infuse them in hot water for 15 minutes. Drink the solution warm and repeat this two to three times in a day.
3. Take 2 pieces of dried persimmon, 50 g of fresh lily bulb, and 15 g of white fungus. Chop the ingredients and simmer them in 1000 ml of water for an hour. Add rock sugar to this dish and serve hot.

With these easy-to-follow, Chinese homemade recipes, you can treat any type of cough problems easily. It is also recommended to chew and suck fresh olives frequently when you suffer from wind-heat cough and phlegm-heat cough, according to traditional Chinese medicines. Follow these recipes, and relieve your lungs of cough problems in very less time.